01/05/2012. Contributed by Aidan Fortune
pub: Plume/Penguin. 263 page illustrated indexed small enlarged paperback. Price: GBP11.99 (UK), $16.00 (US), $20.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-452-29653-4.
check out websites: www.penguin.com and www.turnaround-uk.com
Director of arguably the two best original series ‘Star Trek’ films, Nicholas Meyer offers unique insight into the world of Trek and film-making in general.
This loose autobiography details Meyer’s beginning in the film industry, starting out as a copywriter and working his way up to script doctor and, eventually, director.
Offering a frank and straight-forward view of the industry, the book really gets going when Meyer signs up to direct ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan’ to rejuvenate the franchise after the disappointment that was ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’.
Battling intrusive studio executives, mutinous producers and diva stars, Nimoy was unhappy with how the director worked on some scenes as well as unsure of his future within ‘Trek’, while forging an unlikely bond with actor Ricardo Montalbán, the author provides a fresh take on the film which helped launch ‘Star Trek’ back into orbit.
Meyer would later help write the script for ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’ and direct ‘Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country’, proving to have the golden touch with a hand in the more successful original series movies.
An autobiography is sometimes mistaken as an opportunity to settle some scores and while Meyer doesn’t get as bad as this, he always seems to put himself across as the rock of sense when discussing the many arguments that took place over the course of making the films. He does however admit that he didn’t always react in the best possible way, especially in a meeting with ‘Star Trek’ creator Gene Roddenberry shortly before his death when making ‘The Undiscovered Country’.
Besides temporal thriller ‘Time After Time’ starring Malcolm McDowell and nuclear war TV drama ‘The Day After’, the rest of Meyer’s career is somewhat skirted over. Towards the end of the book, Meyer does discuss his close relationship with actor Pierce Brosnan and how they helped each other following the death of their respective wives.
If you want to know if Ricardo Montalbán’s pecs were his own or how they got Chancellor Gorkon’s blood to float, then this is the biography for you. It’s an enjoyable read that offers a picture of both the frustration and satisfaction that exists within the movie industry as well as some interesting titbits about the ‘Star Trek’ universe.
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